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The Lessons of Insomnia I: MTV Obliges Jameson

June 15, 2008, 7:35 pm

(Being the first in what I pray will not be a series, as I like my sanity and would prefer to keep it intact.)

The Real World holds the dubious honor of being first in the post-1990 tsunami of reality television.  The premise was simple: seven strangers were picked to live in a house &c. &c. &c. and start being real.  The show never tried to live up to its name.  Canny viewers could watch the manufactured controversies being produced in the booth weeks before hostilities spontaneously erupted. 

But!

The pretense of the show was that it was unscripted and unrehearsed.  It was not some sitcom filmed in a West Hollywood back-lot in which a middle-class family dealt with generic adolescent, senescent, menopausal and mid-life crises to the pitch-corrected laughter of the ideal studio audience.  It was real

So you can imagine my surprise when I flipped on the latest installment of The Real World and discovered it was being filmed in a West Hollywood back-lot.  In a move forever granting Fredric Jameson the right to claim he told us so, The Real World: Hollywood is filmed in the same building in which CBS once shot I Love Lucy. 

Should we tell him this?  What are the odds he watches The Real World?  It’s not like he even values empirical verification.

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